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 Post subject: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: July 31st, 2018, 9:17 pm 
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Nice guy, just wanted to make sure guys weren't collecting without a license.



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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 11th, 2018, 12:19 pm 
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Very cool video, Lou. Was that Whitewater?


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 11th, 2018, 2:57 pm 
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Thanks. Yeah, WW


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 16th, 2018, 8:45 am 
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So my question is, did the LEO check your car to see if you were collecting or had instruments for collection? I ask, because I don't collect or keep, but I do pick up snakes on the road and temporarily hold them in bags or coolers and then photograph and release them near where I found them. I would imagine it would be difficult to convince a LEO that I am not collecting...when I have hooks and bags, etc in my vehicle...just curious as I do herp in California...

Great vid, as usual!


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 16th, 2018, 7:04 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
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Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT
LEOs wouldn't have any way to tell if you have a snake boxed up for keeping or to turn loose later, I think at that point you're just in possession either way so make sure whatever you have is legal. I actually think turning it loose later might be worse because now you've exposed it to foreign tools, boxes, etc and potential disease agents.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 16th, 2018, 7:17 pm 
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stlouisdude wrote:
LEOs wouldn't have any way to tell if you have a snake boxed up for keeping or to turn loose later, I think at that point you're just in possession either way so make sure whatever you have is legal. I actually think turning it loose later might be worse because now you've exposed it to foreign tools, boxes, etc and potential disease agents.


I see your point. When I am road cruising, most of the time, I just move them off the road, but if it is something I want to photograph, I usually bag the snake or put it in a cooler in my truck, but only for a few minutes until I find a safe place to pull off and park. I never have them in my possession for more than a few minutes, but I see how this could be problematic for both reasons you mention...


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 17th, 2018, 12:21 pm 
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Location: SW USA
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So my question is, did the LEO check your car to see if you were collecting or had instruments for collection? I ask, because I don't collect or keep, but I do pick up snakes on the road and temporarily hold them in bags or coolers and then photograph and release them near where I found them. I would imagine it would be difficult to convince a LEO that I am not collecting...when I have hooks and bags, etc in my vehicle...just curious as I do herp in California...


on a wildlife stop they would have probable cause to search (with no warrant) your vehicle and likely would. If you are in WW, which Lou was, you will surely be "unpacking" the vehicle when contacted by a warden so have your fishing license ready...my question to Lou is did you tell mr. warden that there are no coral snakes in CA? I do enjoy running their decoys over though....


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 17th, 2018, 5:11 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
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Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT
RenoBart wrote:
stlouisdude wrote:
LEOs wouldn't have any way to tell if you have a snake boxed up for keeping or to turn loose later, I think at that point you're just in possession either way so make sure whatever you have is legal. I actually think turning it loose later might be worse because now you've exposed it to foreign tools, boxes, etc and potential disease agents.


I see your point. When I am road cruising, most of the time, I just move them off the road, but if it is something I want to photograph, I usually bag the snake or put it in a cooler in my truck, but only for a few minutes until I find a safe place to pull off and park. I never have them in my possession for more than a few minutes, but I see how this could be problematic for both reasons you mention...



It won't offer you any legal protection, but cleaning any tools and containers with a (fresh, recently opened) container of diluted bleach and then thoroughly dried will at least give you some ethical peace of mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 17th, 2018, 5:51 pm 
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stlouisdude wrote:
It won't offer you any legal protection, but cleaning any tools and containers with a (fresh, recently opened) container of diluted bleach and then thoroughly dried will at least give you some ethical peace of mind.

I usually wash my coolers out with Clorox Clean-up and I do wipe my hooks.

Out of curiosity, what kind of diseases might there be that could be transferred between local populations of various snake species?


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 17th, 2018, 7:49 pm 
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The officer was really nice. He asked if I was collecting, which I wasn't. I told him I just make videos and that he was welcome to check our car if he wanted. Around that time another car pulled up and said something like, "hey I know you, I've seen your YouTube videos". Kind of funny actually. Rarely does that happen. Anyways, I wasn't asked for a license, which I don't have. I bought one years ago, and haven't since. I'm not sure videoing snakes requires a license, but maybe it does. Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 10:17 am 
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but cleaning any tools and containers with a (fresh, recently opened) container of diluted bleach and then thoroughly dried will at least give you some ethical peace of mind.


Good practice but unfortunately it will not stop Cryptosporidium as I understand it. Lou technically they could cite you, whether they would or not would depend upon the warden I suppose. "Take" is defined as pursue, harass, hunt, etc....so yes they could cite you for no license but it would be low hanging fruit.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 2:41 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
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Location: Southern Cal.
I agree with Lateralis...
I have purchased a license every year, but I go fishing also.

In reality Lou, you do catch the herps, photograph them and release them. I do the same thing with fish and a license is definitely required. It does very from state to state though. I just did three days in Arizona. There I have to buy a hunting license (combo, out of state). I pay $20 per day for short term or $120 for the whole year.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 21st, 2018, 3:58 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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I told him I just make videos and that he was welcome to check our car if he wanted


I would not do that!

If they have probable cause (like, because you have a hook, and an animal "in possession", yet have no license...) they can legally search it anyway. If they do not have PC, they cannot just search it legally, unless you give permission.

Once they are searching they can take their sweet time about it, and they can leave you in shambles. They can call their buddies to have a look too. Wait for a dog, whatever. How much "roadside chillin'" time do you want to risk?

Personally, I think you are interacting with the animals to a degree that merits buying (honestly, that requires) a license. If you were not slowing them down (from leaving your presence) in any way, or speeding them up (e.g., to get off the road) in any way, and not touching them in any way, and also not intentionally manipulating their habitat in any way (flipping or whatever) - I would say "no license needed". But...that's not quite how you're going about it. Don't get me wrong, I treasure your work. I just think...that it's somewhat more than "just looking". And since you're - with the videos and all - acting as sort of a role model or mentor or herp evangelist or whatever, well, there's a higher degree of responsibility to "look right and proper". You sure as hell don't want to get a game violation ticket on your record, minor a charge though it be.

I suggest you just buy the license, show it proudly when asked, and politely decline to ever offer your vehicle up for a search. If you have the license, way fewer guys are going to want to search. And, of them, fewer will ever invoke probable cause, since a license holder is ipso facto less likely to be a poacher. They're gonna want to leave you, a solid citizen, in peace and move on to find a dirtbag. There's a whole lotta dirtbags out there.

The alternative (status quo) is to not buy a license, offer them any search they want, and then hope for no tickets. You may get no tickets for possessing without a license (technically, holding or hooking or tailing a snake when they roll up is "possessing"). But - even in the absence of possession - I do think you are at risk of being guilty of "fishing" without a license. Think about a lake or river - does fishing and not catching require a license? Does catch and release require a license? The fish cops are the herp cops. Same guys. Put yourself in their shoes. Consider that - like anyone - they have good days, and bad days, and days they just want to hit something. Days like that, you don't want to resemble a dirtbag. Your intent will not matter.

My $.02 anyway - free, since you asked. Ha ha. Thanks for the vids, I love 'em.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 8:19 am 

Joined: July 9th, 2010, 4:39 pm
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Really good advice from Jimi for all to consider.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 10:35 am 
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If you have the license, way fewer guys are going to want to search. And, of them, fewer will ever invoke probable cause, since a license holder is ipso facto less likely to be a poacher. They're gonna want to leave you, a solid citizen, in peace and move on to find a dirtbag. There's a whole lotta dirtbags out there.


Some sage advice there jimi but I’d be pleasantly surprised to see them not want to search once you have tipped your hand. As far as their concern over whether you are a solid citizen I can tell you from experience they don’t care and wouldn’t be able to determine that in the field anyway. I’m a “solid” citizen and professional biologist, well known in my community and all the resource agencies in the valley yet I had to deal with a rather nasty piece of cheese in WW one night and ended up with a low level citation which I fought for two years before it was done. I also filed a formal complaint about the nasty cheese which was upheld and I was vindicated BUT mr cheese ended up getting promoted when he should have been relegated to a desk job so go figure. Nowadays I make them work for it and do not extend trust to those who are supposedly trustworthy. Have a license in hand and be aware of your rights under the constitution. Failure to do so will only make your life difficult.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 2:39 pm 

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I’d be pleasantly surprised to see them not want to search once you have tipped your hand.


Well, try it, I can virtually guarantee you're gonna be pleasantly surprised at least once in a while. But when you aren't - that's where you pleasantly say "No PC? No warrant? You wanna touch my stuff? Thanks but no thanks. Have a nice night, see you later sir. I'm gonna keep hunting, legally, now."

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As far as their concern over whether you are a solid citizen I can tell you from experience they don’t care


Mmm. I disagree with this. (Not your experience, but rather, your implication that it can be generalized.) Now like I said, everybody has a bad day now and then. But mostly, in my experience (and I have had some bad ones too!) if you don't light up their radar, you're good. Do you have a license? The right answer is yes. Do you appear to be nervous, evasive, or combative? Are you scary? The right answer is no.

If he shines a light in your car while walking around it (not a search, requires no permission), and sees something the size and shape of a Gila monster flopping around in a bag back there, and you have a sport license but a Gila is not legally harvestable with a sport license (as is the case in all states in the range; not sure what the various tribes say), and that's all you've got - he may well invoke PC. And why not? He's got it...he thinks you're holding a Gila. Oh baby you make me so hot. Ha ha.

What I have not mentioned is some middle ground. If you feel amiable, chatty, and not in a hurry, you can show him pictures. You can show him any animals you actually have harvested. Just don't say yes to the fishing expedition. You don't have to, and it's generally best if you don't.

The last time I said "yes", because I was feeling amiable, chatty, done for the night, and frankly curious, was a couple years ago near Oracle. I had both a Scientific Collecting License and a sport license. I had a DOR Gila in the cooler, covered by my SCL. And there were legal firearms in the truck. There were two of them and two of us; I think one of them was a trainee. Anyway we were subjected to a pretty lengthy but not exhaustive unpacking (bed only, not the cab as I recall), didn't get too much friendly response to our questions, and I was frankly shocked at how little respect was given to the SCL. But in the end they left, without the DOR or anything else of ours. And I was glad the new guy got the benefit of the interaction. The older guy was perhaps a lost cause. But the kid - maybe not? Anyway, I won't likely be doing that again for at least a couple more years. I think my buddy was like "what the hell did you do that for?!?!" Ha ha ha. I knew for sure he was legal though - no contraband, no warrants etc.

Fuuny coda to the DOR Gila - later that week I took it, plus a partial skeleton/mummy Gila I found under a boulder a few days later, to the regional office off Speedway. The front desk staff sent up a nice lady Sergeant Cop to see me. She also wasn't real impressed, by either the SCL or the dead animals I was trying to leave with her! She was way smoother, but I could see her inner turmoil. That, and she must have read that permit three times! Ha ha ha. Ah, communication. I thought the handoff was all set up and OK'd. But the biologists hadn't talked with the cops, the latter were surprised, and I was standing there like an idiot. But it all worked out in the end...

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Have a license in hand and be aware of your rights


That's all I'm saying. "You don't have to, and it's best if you don't."

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 4:34 pm 
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RenoBart wrote:
So my question is, did the LEO check your car to see if you were collecting or had instruments for collection? I ask, because I don't collect or keep, but I do pick up snakes on the road and temporarily hold them in bags or coolers and then photograph and release them near where I found them. I would imagine it would be difficult to convince a LEO that I am not collecting...when I have hooks and bags, etc in my vehicle...just curious as I do herp in California...


So this would be a huge no-no for a few reasons but most importantly to someone trying to not get a ticket or worse...

California Code of Regulations
Title 14. Natural Resources
Division 1. Fish and Game Commission-Department of Fish and Game
Subdivision 1. Fish, Amphibians and Reptiles
Chapter 5. Native Reptiles and Amphibians (Refs & Annos)

"(e) Reptiles or amphibians which have been in captivity, including wild-caught and captively-bred individuals or offspring, shall not be released into the wild without the written approval of the department."

That's pretty clear to me and if not, this next quote is from Scott Waters and I 100% concur with his assessment:

"The literal translation is that if you pick something up and put it in a container, it is a captive animal. For that matter, in your hand is "possession", meaning if you touch it you should have any necessary permits or licenses. I live in CA. We actually have VERY good herp regs here, in my opinion."

It doesn't get any more plain than that. If you are herping and picking up animals no matter what the reason, you need a license. If you are placing an animal in a container and then later releasing it, you are breaking the law. It's pretty elementary.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 4:59 pm 

Joined: July 9th, 2010, 4:39 pm
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Good follow-up entries by both Jimi & Fire Drake.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2018, 6:27 pm 
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Lots of good stuff.

I side with Jimi's statements linking this to fishing, even catch and release. It's always best to get a license.

The concept in most states is that fish and game (and even non-game) belong to all the people in the state. To do anything with those resources, you follow management regulations.

The act of fishing, hunting, birding, herping, driving on public roads, etc. is a privilege, not a right, managed by the state (correctly or not.)

You can argue if the amount of dollars for a license to herp are justified, based on the state management expenses. That is an entirely different discussion.




An anecdote: take from it what you want.


Several years ago in early September, I was herping southwest region of Texas.
This was before the current road cruising regs.
A hunting license was required.

I had one.

A wildlife officer saw me turn around quickly for a DOR on a remote road at night, so he pulled me over. He was not badge heavy and was friendly, courteous, and professional.

He asked if I was snake hunting. I confidently said, "Yes".
He asked if I caught any. I honestly told him "no, just taking pictures".

He asked to see my license.
With a flare of assurance, I whipped it out of my wallet.

He read it and responded, “You know this license is expired, don't you? "
It hit me... Expiration dates are different from state to state. Texas license expired just a week before.

All confidence was running away like a whipsnake being chased by a roadrunner. I was groveling now.

He saw other licenses in my wallet while I was fishing this one out.
He asked what they were.
I showed him that I had licenses, some active, some out of date, from at least six other states.

His response was, "I can see you're an okay herper, so don't touch any animals tonight, and get your license tomorrow in Alpine."

It was my mistake. He had me dead to rights. I feel he was swayed by all the other licenses and even my expired Texas license into recognizing my "intent" to be legal.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2018, 9:02 am 
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Location: Unicoi, TN
Just an afterthought on this issue:

Many of us may choose to speed through states that do not have traffic ticket reciprocity like Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, knowing that we may pay a stiff fine for a speeding ticket, but not get points assessed to our driver’s license back home, thus not incurring the possible added penalty of increased insurance rates.


Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska (bill is currently on the Governor's desk), Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are also members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

This means your violations in one state, might influence your violations or even requests for licenses and permits in another!

Just something to consider! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2018, 10:18 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact...means your violations in one state, might influence your violations or even requests for licenses and permits in another!


Ah, thank you Bill. Excellent item to mention. (Why didn't I? Does a fish perceive the water? Ha ha.)

Also, I really appreciate Bill's story - that's exactly the kind of experience people need to hear more of. There's a lot of enforcement discretion out there, sometimes it works for you, sometimes against. But stacking the evidence in your favor, in terms of 1) objects (e.g., licenses), and 2) behavior & attitude (e.g., friendly but not overly familiar, confident yet humble, and impeccably polite), will go a long way towards improving the odds of positive outcomes. Not just one or the other, but both. No guarantee, but it sure ups the odds.

If one chooses instead to play sea lawyer and argue the law, or worse, "principles" and "rights" (oh, for the love of God...), the odds of unpleasantness go way up. Now you're just resembling all the other jackasses this guy has ever had to deal with. There have been many, and he's just sick of it...

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2018, 11:43 am 
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Well, try it, I can virtually guarantee you're gonna be pleasantly surprised at least once in a while. But when you aren't - that's where you pleasantly say "No PC? No warrant? You wanna touch my stuff? Thanks but no thanks. Have a nice night, see you later sir. I'm gonna keep hunting, legally, now."


Over 40 plus years of herping and yes I have been pleasantly surprised - once, maybe twice if memory serves. If you are stopped by a warden, there is no PC or warrant needed for a search if he observes you driving slowly, stopping for things, taking pictures etc...means your fair game. If you stop and look at a decoy, you are going to get contacted. If you tried to proceed as you mention above (which I totally agree with) - they're going to up the octane, 100% lock it in. That is the "attitude" that they love to exploit, seen it before and experienced it in WW with the aforementioned nasty piece of cheese. The "freedoms" we enjoy and the rights given by the Constitution are tenuous at best - I know that not all LE are bad, but there are enough bad ones that for me, I know when to try to "unring that bell". I am polite and cooperative to the point where I believe they are angling for something else - at that point the correct statement is "please call your supervisor to the scene as I refuse to answer anymore questions and feel unsafe at this point". They now have a choice; try to continue the intimidation, and lie that their supervisor is not available or they, if they are smart, work with you politely and expediently. Remember; LE of any kind are allowed to lie, intimidate, and threaten you with arrest if it serves their purpose, its part of their training.

Quote:
Mmm. I disagree with this. (Not your experience, but rather, your implication that it can be generalized.) Now like I said, everybody has a bad day now and then. But mostly, in my experience (and I have had some bad ones too!) if you don't light up their radar, you're good. Do you have a license? The right answer is yes. Do you appear to be nervous, evasive, or combative? Are you scary? The right answer is no.


Totally fine, everyone has their own experiences, but to resource agency LE, they simply don't care who you are and are not going to spend the time to find out. They write their citations and move on and let the courts figure it out. You could be Jane Goodall and they wouldn't care, perhaps they might take it easy on you if they knew who you were but ultimately that is not their job, their job is to write citations when they believe the law is being broken. Or as I recently saw, they will try to figure out what else they can nail you for or flip a coin to decide. Unfortunately, we live in a very different world than we did 20-30-40 years ago, and one of my favorite ways to respond to abuse of authority is explain that I served in the military and took an oath to protect our Constitution so why would I just flip over on my back and let my rights be trampled after passing through fire and deep water to protect them?

Bottom line, get a license and pay to play, its a small price to pay to avoid having a trip delayed or getting a ticket. Is it right to have to pay to take a picture of a reptile or frog hell no, but is it worth fighting over in court where you WILL spend far more than what you would have spent on a stupid fishing license, hell no again. To each their own but eventually everyone's luck runs out and one will run into bad cheese, whether you take a bite or not is up to you.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2018, 4:32 pm 
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lateralis wrote:
Quote:
Well, try it, I can virtually guarantee you're gonna be pleasantly surprised at least once in a while. But when you aren't - that's where you pleasantly say "No PC? No warrant? You wanna touch my stuff? Thanks but no thanks. Have a nice night, see you later sir. I'm gonna keep hunting, legally, now."


Over 40 plus years of herping and yes I have been pleasantly surprised - once, maybe twice if memory serves. If you are stopped by a warden, there is no PC or warrant needed for a search if he observes you driving slowly, stopping for things, taking pictures etc...means your fair game. If you stop and look at a decoy, you are going to get contacted. If you tried to proceed as you mention above (which I totally agree with) - they're going to up the octane, 100% lock it in. That is the "attitude" that they love to exploit, seen it before and experienced it in WW with the aforementioned nasty piece of cheese. The "freedoms" we enjoy and the rights given by the Constitution are tenuous at best - I know that not all LE are bad, but there are enough bad ones that for me, I know when to try to "unring that bell". I am polite and cooperative to the point where I believe they are angling for something else - at that point the correct statement is "please call your supervisor to the scene as I refuse to answer anymore questions and feel unsafe at this point". They now have a choice; try to continue the intimidation, and lie that their supervisor is not available or they, if they are smart, work with you politely and expediently. Remember; LE of any kind are allowed to lie, intimidate, and threaten you with arrest if it serves their purpose, its part of their training.

Quote:
Mmm. I disagree with this. (Not your experience, but rather, your implication that it can be generalized.) Now like I said, everybody has a bad day now and then. But mostly, in my experience (and I have had some bad ones too!) if you don't light up their radar, you're good. Do you have a license? The right answer is yes. Do you appear to be nervous, evasive, or combative? Are you scary? The right answer is no.


Totally fine, everyone has their own experiences, but to resource agency LE, they simply don't care who you are and are not going to spend the time to find out. They write their citations and move on and let the courts figure it out. You could be Jane Goodall and they wouldn't care, perhaps they might take it easy on you if they knew who you were but ultimately that is not their job, their job is to write citations when they believe the law is being broken. Or as I recently saw, they will try to figure out what else they can nail you for or flip a coin to decide. Unfortunately, we live in a very different world than we did 20-30-40 years ago, and one of my favorite ways to respond to abuse of authority is explain that I served in the military and took an oath to protect our Constitution so why would I just flip over on my back and let my rights be trampled after passing through fire and deep water to protect them?

Bottom line, get a license and pay to play, its a small price to pay to avoid having a trip delayed or getting a ticket. Is it right to have to pay to take a picture of a reptile or frog hell no, but is it worth fighting over in court where you WILL spend far more than what you would have spent on a stupid fishing license, hell no again. To each their own but eventually everyone's luck runs out and one will run into bad cheese, whether you take a bite or not is up to you.

Cheers


Well, I've never met you lateralis, but I can see your experience shows. While I do see some legitimacy in a portion if what I feel Jimi is trying to say, you sir are basically speaking the gospel. My father retired after 23 years with CDFG (he retired before the name change--which I hate anyway--so...). He and I are close and both love reptiles and herping. He later went on to be an attorney and a judge pro-tem. He was one of the very best wardens this state has ever seen--and a former Marine from the Vietnam era (proud of him? hell yes I am!). My dad was fair and used a great deal of discretion and rarely went after the low hanging fruit you mention (but you're right...others can and do). In his later years before full retirement he went on to defend some of the same hunters and fisherman in court that he had cited and even arrested years earlier when they contacted him as an attorney for legal representation because he felt they were getting the shaft by F&G (talk about respect--going in BOTH directions). You should have seen the look on some of the prosecutors' faces when the defense attorney was a former game warden who knows that portion of the law intimately. But that is another story.

You clearly have much experience in the area you speak of and I must agree with what you are saying. Many people aren't in the know about the enhanced search and seizure rights game wardens often exercise in CA. The law clearly defines these rights and we have to live with them. There was a joke around when my father was a Warden..."California Highway Patrol officers are so bad they would give their own mother a ticket. Game Wardens are so bad they would give a Chippie (CHP officer) a ticket." And they do. My father cited tons of LE in his time, but not always. It was usually the jerks who were gratuitously exploiting the practice of professional courtesy by intentionally and knowingly trespassing on private property after complaints were made and clear postings, possessing gross over limits, hunting/fishing without a license when they clearly knew better, or other blatant violations that demonstrated a certain level of arrogance my father could not get past.

I totally agree...get the damn license and call it a day. Trying to play some of these games just doesn't make sense in the end and can be an enormous waste of your time, energy, and money.

Pay to play...I like that. Thanks for the wisdom and sharing of your time in the field (and of course for your service to your country), lateralis. I hope we can meet someday.

Fair wind and following seas, everyone. I hope I had something constructive to offer this time.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 24th, 2018, 4:35 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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While I do see some legitimacy in a portion if what I feel Jimi is trying to say, you sir are basically speaking the gospel. (...) Trying to play some of these games just doesn't make sense in the end and can be an enormous waste of your time, energy, and money.


I think maybe I've been misinterpreted - my comment was only within the context of having a license on you, and presenting it when asked:

Quote:
I suggest you just buy the license, show it proudly when asked, and politely decline to ever offer your vehicle up for a search. If you have the license, way fewer guys are going to want to search. And, of them, fewer will ever invoke probable cause, since a license holder is ipso facto less likely to be a poacher. They're gonna want to leave you, a solid citizen, in peace and move on to find a dirtbag. There's a whole lotta dirtbags out there.

The alternative (status quo) is to not buy a license, offer them any search they want, and then hope for no tickets. You may get no tickets for possessing without a license (technically, holding or hooking or tailing a snake when they roll up is "possessing"). But - even in the absence of possession - I do think you are at risk of being guilty of "fishing" without a license. Think about a lake or river - does fishing and not catching require a license? Does catch and release require a license? The fish cops are the herp cops. Same guys. Put yourself in their shoes. Consider that - like anyone - they have good days, and bad days, and days they just want to hit something. Days like that, you don't want to resemble a dirtbag. Your intent will not matter.


Lou got lucky and I said as much ("you were pretty much "fishing" without a license"). I suggested he can improve the odds of maintaining positive interactions by just buying the license. I said it was no guarantee they'd be nice next time, but it would sure help.

So, uh - what games are you talking about? Are you suggesting you can never successfully say "No, I don't submit to a search"? I don't buy it. Are you suggesting that every license holder still gets a search, no matter what they say up to that point? I don't buy it.

Quote:
Pay to play...I like that.

I don't.

There is a strong negative connotation with that term, a strong association with corruption. Like, a developer "pays to play" to get his building permits expedited. Or he "pays to play", so the zoning board gives him his variance. That is not the situation here. To say otherwise is a falsehood, unintentional or otherwise.

The real term is "user pays". That - for better or worse - is the basic revenue model for state fish and wildlife management. Herpers are hunters. They don't seek lethal outcomes, but they are using the resource, they are not "the oblivious public" that is not using the resource. Or paying.

User pays. It's not "pay to play", it's "user pays".

Peace -


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 24th, 2018, 5:17 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Posts: 409
Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT
No experience in CA, but in the states I've been herping, Law enforcement has not been bothersome at all. I've had state and local police stop to see why Im along a roadside, but they didn't mind that I was looking for snakes. I've had a game warden check my trunk, glance around, or glove box before (the later because some feather thing was sticking out of it from a gift someone gave me). The smokies I had a couple of rangers stop and make sure I wasn't hurting any animals (kind of funny they walked past freshly car killed salamanders to worry about what the guy on foot is doing!). Honestly, the only really bad reactions I've gotten were some people who got butt hurt that I was on their study site (which was public land and not a restricted use area). Even that wasn't too bad, one of the guys got all bent out of shape until he realized that wasn't going to phase me (I deal with angry people pretty often so yelling does not deter me one bit). Even that pales in comparison to the drama herpers can rail against one another. I just asked what their concerns were and agreed to avoid two particular areas of concern and all was well. Honestly, I think 99% of the claims against any kind of law enforcement is people just have too thin of skin and think they are above being questioned.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 24th, 2018, 5:28 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
Posts: 582
Location: Southern Cal.
One thing mentioned above: User pays ....

I totally agree. I want that 1 in 100 option to take something that is incredible if I see it.
I buy a license to catch tuna, and the rare herp that I have not seen in the last 45 years.


:thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 27th, 2018, 12:49 pm 
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I think maybe I've been misinterpreted - my comment was only within the context of having a license on you, and presenting it when asked:


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 27th, 2018, 1:15 pm 
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Quote:
I think maybe I've been misinterpreted - my comment was only within the context of having a license on you, and presenting it when asked:


No, you have not been misinterpreted...defensive yes, but not misinterpreted. The first quote of mine was referring to agreeing with your two primary points:

1. That morally and logically one should get the license if engaged in herping. You make good parallels and examples. No question, we (or most of us) agree on this one.
2. That proper documentation and etiquette (behavior) can sometimes keep you out of trouble. No argument there either.

So I hope that you are not bothered by the fact I am in agreement with you up there. As for the "games" portion that you quoted me on, I was referring to one of lateralis' quotes and not anything of yours:

Quote:
Bottom line, get a license and pay to play, its a small price to pay to avoid having a trip delayed or getting a ticket. Is it right to have to pay to take a picture of a reptile or frog hell no, but is it worth fighting over in court where you WILL spend far more than what you would have spent on a stupid fishing license, hell no again. To each their own but eventually everyone's luck runs out and one will run into bad cheese, whether you take a bite or not is up to you.


The games I am referring to are ones people play all the time: spending more time and energy trying to avoid something that could far more easily be handled in a simpler manner. The reason I phrased my initial sentence the way I did is that there are other parts of your post that without further explanation from you I cannot be sure I agree with you on--but not the points up top (the ones you quoted). Now a word to the wise...if you are trying to have an intelligent discussion with me, don't start out a sentence with "So, uh."

Quote:
So, uh - what games are you talking about?


It's disrespectful and will absolutely get you a different kind of response from me. I think you know this and did so out of spite. Not a surprise. And as I explained above, you were barking up the wrong tree to begin with.

And as for this regarding "Pay to Play:

Quote:
There is a strong negative connotation with that term, a strong association with corruption.


That is purely and simply your opinion, a fact you did not bother to qualify your statement with. You are not an authority on that phrase yet stated it as fact with no support. And for the record, I have asked a handful of people what their interpretation of that phrase is, and they all come back with a much more general take on it than you do...i.e. not objectively nefarious but a simple, "if you are going to engage in something, then you'd better do what's necessary and not cheat the system." I have not run in to anyone yet who immediately states that it is associated with maliciousness or corruption specifically.

Quote:
The real term is "user pays".

Quote:
User pays. It's not "pay to play", it's "user pays.


Again, based on what? This is again (whether assumed to be or not) opinion unless you back it up.

And lastly...what do you have against developers?

-Drake


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 27th, 2018, 2:27 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
Posts: 582
Location: Southern Cal.
Fire Drake for me "user pays" means just that.

When I board a fishing vessel they check to make sure I have a valid fishing license... Always.
When I fish in Mexican waters I board with a passport and pay for a Mexican license.

Every year in December when I renew my Ca. Native Propagation Permit, I purchase the new fishing license on line. I read the new regulations and follow them.

I have had friends that were with Game and Fish years ago. I know where most of the money goes and I support them.

But this is just me...
I am also a cynic so I frequently believe the worst of people. I enjoy being surprised when I find folks doing the right thing and I praise them for it.

I think the problem with developers is that they get blamed for the urbanization of Southern California. I know of about a dozen areas that I used to herp/flip boards/ and get gummy lizards, that are now developed housing tracts, commercial centers, or strip malls. This is a complex issue with many viewpoints.

This is a good thread ....
Everyone has an opinion and can air it here...


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 27th, 2018, 3:05 pm 
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Thanks for the explanations, Mr. B. As always, they are much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 27th, 2018, 4:52 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Alright Drake, I'm going to try and de-escalate some here.

Quote:
Quote:
So, uh - what games are you talking about?
It's disrespectful and will absolutely get you a different kind of response from me. I think you know this and did so out of spite.


I didn't mean it that way. I started writing without the "so, uh" and it looked harsher, so I tried to mellow it out with a softer preface. That's all. I didn't "know this" (that it's disrespectful) and certainly wasn't acting out of malice. To me it just makes it more casual. That was my intent. I don't want to slam you. I don't even know you.

Quote:
There is a strong negative connotation with that term, a strong association with corruption.
That is purely and simply your opinion, a fact you did not bother to qualify your statement with.


Maybe it's generational? Maybe geographic? Pay to play DEFINITELY has strong negative connotations in some circles. Here's the Google Dictionary return - the first definition being more in line with yours, the second definition modified somewhat by "US", which I assume to mean something like "this definition is more specific to the US", but regardless being more in line with mine:
Quote:
pay-to-play
adjective
adjective: pay-to-play

relating to or denoting an arrangement in which a charge must be paid to play a game or sport.
"both municipal courses are also available on a pay-to-play basis"
US
(especially in politics) relating to or denoting a situation in which payment is demanded, often illegally, from those wishing to take part in a particular business activity.
"a pay-to-play scandal haunts the hundred-billion-dollar state pension fund"


I think that serves to illustrate it is not "just my opinion".

Quote:
I have asked a handful of people what their interpretation of that phrase is

Language is interesting, in that it evolves very rapidly and has many "subcultures". But it is not strictly a matter of vox populi du jour; there's a lag. Also - perhaps you have a small sample, drawn from a narrow frame? We all tend to know people more like us, than unlike us, in terms of age, ethnicity, educational attainment, economic class, political orientation, etc. It's neither good nor bad, it just is. Good or bad comes from what you do with it, or do about it.

As for user pays - is it that are you unfamiliar with the term and concept? If so, see here http://montanawildlife.org/its-time-for-everyone-to-pay-for-wildlife-management/

A more general treatment is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_pays
Note the misalignment problem with wildlife - everyone is a "beneficiary" (wildlife belongs to everyone) but not everyone pays. It introduces a perversion, in that current "payers" (traditional hunters and fishermen) can be disinclined to welcome novel "payers" (like birdwatchers, herpers etc) into the governance system. So deer hunters can easily engage in the machinery of tweaking seasons, limits, methods of take etc. Whereas others, like herpers, don't have it very easy at all...this needs to change. It won't be helped to change, by herpers resisting paying.

Finally,
Quote:
And lastly...what do you have against developers?

Nothing, in general. They provide things people need, like places to live and work, and jobs, and they operate within the social environment they come into. Of course like many organisms they try to modify their environment (e.g., by lobbying), but to expect otherwise would be to dehumanize them and also to disrespect our system of republican democracy. Why shouldn't they have representation? In general I believe crappy development - and the developers that help deliver it - accompanies weak institutions and disordered or distracted societies. Good development - and the developers that help deliver it - accompanies strong institutions and orderly, focused societies. Pay to play is pretty rare in societies with strong institutions, and utterly endemic, just rampant, in societies with weak ones.

If you looked at my examples again, you might see that I am impugning weak local institutions, as much as I am anyone unfortunate enough to be forced to live with them.

Quote:
I think the problem with developers is that they get blamed for the urbanization of Southern California.

I agree they get the blame. I think that's childish though. Developers would get the blame for urbanizing western Kansas if they could get anyone to move there! The problem with SoCal is just it's so damn nice (well, it used to be...ha ha) and everyone wanted to move there from about 1945, onward. And until it was too late, there was no societal/political recognition that perhaps leaving a little bit unpaved would make for a nicer future. Keep some orchards, keep some pasture, keep some brush. Ah, nothing left now but the steep rocks. Oh well...for an interesting comparison see western Marin and Sonoma counties. Looks a whole lot like the first time I ever first saw it, in the mid 80s. That's pretty nice. Nobody can afford to move there, but hey, you can say the same for SoCal. But if I had to pick one or the other, I know which one I would pick!

Peace -


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 27th, 2018, 7:24 pm 
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Location: SW USA
Quote:
User pays. It's not "pay to play", it's "user pays".


I think we are getting to the same place, just depends upon ones view of what they are paying for in the end. For me I pay to play (photograph reptiles), occasionally i use my license to fish (using resources), but primarily it’s so I will not be bothered if I go road cruising and get contacted because the fishing sucks here (no tarpon or snook) ;)

It’s sad to an older cat like myself to see the simple act of getting out into nature with a camera regulated to such a degree. 30 years ago the biggest problem with an adventure through the SW to see snakes was gas money and food.


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 27th, 2018, 9:52 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
Posts: 582
Location: Southern Cal.
Yeah but 30 years ago I still had bought my fishing license to herp in Ca.
It was considerably cheaper, but I still bought it. I turned 18 in 1975, I have not missed a year.
I also used to use a film camera (35mm) that was a lot more expensive to use.

But like a dumb butt I didn't buy the lifelong license when it was available...


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 27th, 2018, 10:11 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
Posts: 582
Location: Southern Cal.
FYI ....
This is me a few weeks ago.
My 30 year old son took the picture...

I think if you Google "old fart" you might get this pic also.

Attachment:
August 2018 AZ.JPG
August 2018 AZ.JPG [ 62.02 KiB | Viewed 5272 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 8:36 am 
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Alright Drake, I'm going to try and de-escalate some here.


Jimi, thank you for taking the time to formulate this response. I very much respect it. Now that we have a solid volley between us, I can tell you are a very intelligent person. I am taking the numerous examples and sources you offered and will use them to enhance my understanding of these things for sure--so definitely no time wasted in including them all. I appreciate the passion and experience contained in your posts here too. Hopefully I did not come off too off-putting, but I too am passionate and sometimes the RPM gets up there a bit.

I am relatively new to this forum, but do now appreciate you as a contributor and will certainly take the time to read through your submissions (past, present, and future).

Respect, Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 10:10 am 
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Location: Unicoi, TN
Now that we all do have some agreement on some issues (to license or not), and we've scaled down confrontations, I just am curious how other folks in the US (and elsewhere) view confrontation with wildlife LEOs.

(FD, tell your father "semper fi" for me.)
.

My opinion seems to be at odds with some of you on the west coast. I respect how you feel. We all form opinions based on life experiences, so how did we get this gap?
This is just strange to me since I too have herped all over the US and elsewhere for a very, very long time and had very few bad experiences with wildlife officers.

.

Some of the Texas folks will remember a badge heavy LEO in south Texas in the '90s who was confrontational with everyone.
(He was promoted for his incompetence! LOL)
This one person turned many Herpers off on all wildlife enforcers.
Today there seems to be more of an atmosphere of working together in Texas. (My perception. Tell me if I'm wrong.)


I was just wondering if that's what happened in southern California??? Was there one or a few that were just the Barney Fifes of wildlife management?


I also think part of this is somewhat of a learning gap in that, I remember talking to some older wildlife folks who came from the buck and trout side, and they were parroting some misconceptions like "all Herpers are poachers" and "the value of some collected species was huge."

My perception today is that the younger wildlife managers and LEOs have a more realistic perception of the reality of the herp world. (Again, tell me if youe disagree.)


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 3:19 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Quote:
Hopefully I did not come off too off-putting, but I too am passionate and sometimes the RPM gets up there a bit.

No sweat, me too. And you nailed me on "defensive", I can be like that.

Quote:
I also think part of this is somewhat of a learning gap in that, I remember talking to some older wildlife folks who came from the buck and trout side, and they were parroting some misconceptions like "all Herpers are poachers" and "the value of some collected species was huge."
My perception today is that the younger wildlife managers and LEOs have a more realistic perception of the reality of the herp world. (Again, tell me if youe disagree.)


Mmm. There may be something to this, but I gotta share, I fear it's a lot more complicated or nuanced. We can all wish and imagine something like "progress is linear and deterministic, and if we can just outlast the bastards the new generation will fix everything". But culture perpetuates. And sometimes, things get worse, not better. It's certainly true in my experience that equating herping with poaching, and ascribing ridiculous values to this herp taxon or that, are enduring themes in American state (and probably federal...) wildlife agencies. Here for example, we are still confronted with the mythical "$400 milksnake". Maybe in the early 1980's tricolor craze, there was one guy who'd pay that. Maybe he did pay that, once. Or maybe that was a real asking price that never got paid. Whatever. In 2018? It's laughable. It's repugnant. But I can still hear about that "$400 milksnake" anytime I like, all I have to do is start a conversation. Seriously, it's like hearing about a $400 reel-to-reel stereo component. "That's old news, man." (Unless I'm missing something...)

I think one important aspect is the underlying LE model adopted by the agency, imparted by trainers, and continually reinforced by supervisors. Is it "community policing" or is it "traditional police model"? Partner, or hammer. Another, I agree, is the background and experience of the individual.

Quote:
Some of the Texas folks will remember a badge heavy LEO in south Texas in the '90s who was confrontational with everyone.
(He was promoted for his incompetence! LOL) This one person turned many Herpers off on all wildlife enforcers.


"Promotion to where they can do less harm" is a very common strategy with employers or managers who can't or don't know how to discipline or terminate problem employees. And yeah, a jackass is just a jackass - there was also that notorious Whitewater fish cop. The hell of it is - this works both ways. Most LEOs have probably never even met a herper. If the first one they meet is a jackass, or worse, "a poacher" (someone pursuing wildlife without a license), well...he might be inclined to suspect the next one he runs into. This is why I preach to herpers "Represent us. Do it well." Start by carrying a license, if you're gonna pursue herps. "Oh, but I'm not one of those yucky collector guys" doesn't cut it.

Quote:
It’s sad to an older cat like myself to see the simple act of getting out into nature with a camera regulated to such a degree.
I hear you. And I also think it's not quite exactly that simple. Like I said earlier to Lou, if it was purely observational and hands-off it would be one thing (no license needed). But for example on this forum - I think most of these photos required some hands-on interaction with the beast, and often with its habitat. Turning up the animal. Stopping the animal from leaving. Posing it for this shot or that. Maybe posing it for the 5/10/20 other shots we don't see.

Taking pics of most herps is not like "working with" most birds or mammals. Crocodiles, OK sure, it's all on the croc's terms, he does exactly as he pleases, he stays or he goes, etc. Otherwise, herps usually get a bit manhandled, even venomous ones. Occasionally an unreasonable amount; I've heard of animals dying from overheating, and I have seen animals get abused by a wolfpack of jockeying shutterbugs. I'd rather see a clean kill, than ever see that again. I don't take pictures, and there's only one or two fairly hardcore photographers I can spend field time with.

Fundamentally, I just think almost all flavors of herping are more like catch-and-release fishing than birdwatching. Most of it merits a license. That isn't over-regulation in my book. I can respect a thoughtful divergent opinion, but I don't know that I'll ever adopt it myself. What is over-regulation, on the other hand (in my book) is having "secure" species in no-touch status (some states treat ALL their herps like this!), or having low bag or possession limits on "secure" species. Like, why on Earth would the personal possession (not just daily bag, but possession) limit for glossy snakes or sidewinders in CA be two? Anyway, sorry - change of subject. Same statement on opinions.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 3:42 pm 
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(FD, tell your father "semper fi" for me.)


I will do so with pride in both of you, sir!


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 Post subject: Re: Law Enforcement Showed Up
PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 4:09 pm 
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What is over-regulation, on the other hand (in my book) is having "secure" species in no-touch status (some states treat ALL their herps like this!), or having low bag or possession limits on "secure" species. Like, why on Earth would the personal possession (not just daily bag, but possession) limit for glossy snakes or sidewinders in CA be two?


Could not agree more. These numbers are not supported by enough science to warrant being so low. It is Draconian to say the least.


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